Homeowner’s insurance. From the moment you first set foot in your home, it’s required.
To safeguard their profits, most conventional lenders won’t offer you a mortgage for a property that doesn’t qualify for insurance. And if home insurance coverage is suspended for any reason, it can still cause problems. That remains true even years after your mortgage has gone into repayment.
If you lose your home insurance, it won’t be long before your lender finds out one way or the other. Big banks can buy insurance policies on your behalf and force you to pay for them, even if the premiums are hundreds of dollars more than what you were paying before.
So, it’s important to avoid losing home insurance even for a month.
That’s left a lot of Florida homeowners scratching their heads when their insurer behaves less reliably than ever. Home insurance premiums are skyrocketing in Florida from the coasts to Central Florida. Rates have more than doubled in the Sunshine State.
In some cases, individual homeowners are paying triple what they once did. At the same time, seven property insurance companies are currently in liquidation. All these grim developments affect Central Florida as well, despite the milder weather and reduced flooding risk.
It’s being called the property insurance crisis, and it’s in full swing as you read this.
As bad as all this is, high premiums are only the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of Floridian homeowners have lost insurance coverage, some practically overnight. In many cases, their first notice of the situation comes when they learn their policy has been terminated, leaving them scrambling.
What’s behind all of this?
In most cases, it comes down to the age of the roof.
Take Roofing Manufacturers’ Claims on Age with a Grain of Salt
Compare shingle roofs in Florida and you’ll see lots of brands claim their products last 30 years or more.
These claims don’t come from the Central Florida roofer who installs the roof, mind you. It’s the roofing manufacturer itself that develops this marketing and advertising. For example, GAF and CertainTeed are two roofing brands that an experienced Central Florida roofer might work with.
The best roofers train to understand these products inside and out, but they don’t control the claims that are made about them. Unfortunately, 30 years is often a very optimistic estimate for a shingle roof’s lifespan in Florida. An average life of 20 years is much more likely, and on the coasts, it can be even less.
Insurers know this, too.
After all, the companies that provide home insurance have more data than anyone else about how long a roof actually lasts. And as of the last few years, it seems like many of them came to a much less optimistic conclusion about the average roof: It becomes much riskier after about ten years.
That’s led to a recent trend of dropping insurance coverage based on roof age.
“Exposure Management” Can Be Code for “Old Roof”
Insurers are playing hardball when it comes to roof age – and it seems like the facts don’t always matter.
Even if your roof has no wind or rain damage and is not in need of replacement, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep it insured as it crosses the 10-year mark. An inspection showing the roof is in good condition may help in some cases, but it may not.
You could be notified of policy loss with 2-3 months to make other arrangements – or you might find out in the same week the policy will end. And from there, it takes most lenders only a matter of days to hear about the problem and introduce their own complications.
It all starts with a letter from your insurer citing “exposure management.”
If your Florida roof is eight years old or older, it’s time to take action. The best way to protect yourself from losing insurance is to be proactive. A trusted Central Florida roofer can help you replace a roof in Florida quickly and at a lower cost.
At Sheegog Contracting, we know customers caught off-guard by their insurance company don’t have the luxury of waiting months to replace a roof: It’s also important for you to have insurance that fits your household budget. We offer financing so you can move forward with confidence right away.